motherly guilt when you are too tired to play
Thursday, 23 February 2017 | Mummy and Little Me
From eggo to preggo #4
Has becoming pregnant made me a bad mum? 'Mummy just needs to lie down hun, hang on'. I saw the bottom lip come out and the disappointment wash over Elijah's face as I explained I needed a rest and that I couldn't play. The guilt came next later in the day, when I made him a snack and stuck Mr Tumble on for the 10th time that day, so I could nap. I was praying he would just entertain himself for a while so I could sleep. I felt like the world's worst mother. Why? Because I was pregnant and suffering from morning sickness and extreme tiredness.
I am a soon to be mother of two, and feel like I have completely failed my first child. For the last few months I have been able to replay the amount of times I have said no to Elijah and the Mum guilt has been consuming. Feeling so rough for so long, Elijah really has taken a back seat. I have not been able to fully concentrate on him and give him the attention he has been used to for the last two years. I worry he has picked up on this and he has been acting out. Elijah is normally quite well behaved, other than the odd tantrum. However, recently he throws a wobbler getting changed, having a bath, getting dressed and even brushing his teeth. Was this a phase? Or was this down to me not feeling my best? Would he be like this when the baby is here? You do what all parents do and sit and weep in the evenings about how you have ruined your child's life and messed them up .
I know this is irrational, and he is fed, clean, warm and happy but I still cannot shake off the Mum guilt. I have not been able to pick him up as much, or play the rough games we used too. Or take him out, and plans have been cancelled due to my sickness. We have spent a lot of time indoors, now we are at the half way mark I am only now feeling more human. I am slowly getting my energy back and the sickness is subsiding. The poor boy has watched me throw up and gag so many times he follows me around the house trying to copy me! He asks me if I feel sick, and that the baby is sick. He has had to spend a lot more time with my Nan as I have needed a break, and Greg works a lot of hours. I feel like for the last few months I have missed out on so much, little things like Greg picking him up from nursery more, or my Nan playing new games with him. I have also had to spend a lot of time at the hospital which has meant Elijah being left with family members. I feel like I am almost choosing this baby over him.
Elijah is very involved in my pregnancy and loves to see scan pictures of the baby, or try and feel the baby kick. I also know that the balance of having two children is something I am going to have to get used to. Fast. The juggle of meeting a newborns needs, and making sure Elijah is still getting my attention and doesn't feel left out seems an impossible balancing act, He loves helping me with the baby's things and getting them set up at the moment which I am hoping is a sign of things to come! Whether this will still happen when sleep deprevation hits the household is another story! (I will let you know!) Mum guilt is with you from the beginning, When you are formula feeding, when you choose to co sleep, when you give them a dummy etc.
The society that we live in loves to put an unreal expectation upon parents which when you don't live up to, you are then met by your old friend. Mum guilt. I think with Elijah being a heart baby and needing an operation, as well as being my first he is always my spoilt little Prince. I think it is now dawning on me that we will all need to make some changes before the baby comes. Elijah will not be the centre of attention, I will need to live with the fact I will have two children to focus on and our family dynamic will be changed forever. I don't regret getting pregnant but those unreal standards that we see so often on social media? In magazines? Sees mum being pregnant again radiating that 'glow' whilst baking her toddler organic snacks laughing after you have just completed a mile woodland walk. The reality? You are stuck to the sofa wishing you can sleep through another C Beebies marathon, and making you both crisps for dinner.
You bribe said toddler with biscuits into cooperation, It is far from picturesque. in fact you are sweaty, grey and slug like, and normally the child is covered in chocolate eating a gummy bear from under the sofa with a pull up ready to explode. When you have your first baby you spend the whole of your pregnancy eagerly awaiting your baby's arrival ready to shower them with love. Talking, bonding and showering your bump with attention ready for when they are born, With your second that feeling is still there, but you also have your first child who wants everything to be the same as before. It can be hard to manage your priorities when you feel as though if you get up, you will throw up again. This is a huge learning curve for me, and for Elijah. I wonder is it to prepare you in some way for having two? Who knows, I have planned a few activities for me and Elijah to do over the Summer such as planting our own fruit and veg which is something just for us. For us to spend time on; even after the baby is here. Parenting one is tough, Parenting two? That's a whole new ball game I am only now learning the rules too. We are not even at the main match yet.